US loses lawsuit against Iran in Italy 

The Constitutional Court of Italy in Rome [Wikipedia]
The Court of Appeal in Rome rejected a verdict to freeze Iranian assets in Italy, against the backdrop of a lawsuit filed by some of the families of the victims of the 11 September, 2001, attacks. “The issue lies in the filing of some victims of the 11 September attacks of a complaint against Iran and its Central Bank, at the instigation of the US government, as they succeeded in 2011 in obtaining a conviction verdict from a court in New York against Tehran,” explained the Iranian Central Bank in a statement on Wednesday. The bank pointed out that with the implementation of the US court verdict, the heirs of the victims filed a lawsuit at the Italian courts on […]

France and US request to join East Mediterranean Gas Forum 

Officials, including Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (FR) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (C) pose for a photo following the Mediterranean Gas Forum in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Egypt on 26 July 2019 [simonarann/Twitter]
During the third ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo, France officially requested to join. The deputy assistant US secretary of energy also expressed his country’s desire to join as a permanent observer. Egyptian minister of petroleum and mineral resources, Tarek El-Molla, welcomed France’s participation in the meeting and its official request to join the forum, as well as the US’ request to join. He explained that these requests will be approved by the founding members, according to the statute of the forum. El-Molla indicated that he will ask for the addition of environmental protection fields in the World Bank studies that it is preparing for the forum, in addition to exploring the uses of renewable energies […]

Meat alternatives are the future of food

Lab-grown chicken nuggets are the new Beyond Meat burger. Quartz takes you inside the meat alternatives industry and explains the global shift towards eating less meat.

Germany: US threatens Europe’s economy over Iran nuclear deal

United States (US) has threatened to impose 25 per cent of tariffs on all European car exports if the European Union (EU) had continued to support Iran’s nuclear deal, German defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, announced yesterday. Speaking at a press conference in Britain’s London, Kramp-Karrenbauer, said that the US President Donald Trump had “secretly” warned France, Germany and the UK that the US would impose a 25 per cent tariffs on European cars if the European countries did not abandon the Iranian nuclear deal reached in the Austrian capital of Vienna in 2015. Read: Acting head of UN Palestinian refugee agency says US, Israel working against it “This expression or threat, as you will, does exist,” she reiterated. Kramp-Karrenbauer remarks […]

France to deploy Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to support Middle East operations

France will deploy the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and its battle group from January to April to support French military operations in Middle East, Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday, Reuters reports. “The aircraft carrier will support Chammal operations (in the Middle East) from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea”, Macron said at a New Year speech to the French military. The deployment comes amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States and French concerns that the fight against Islamic State militants may be weakened within that context. READ: France’s Macron discusses US-Iran crisis with Iraqi, UAE leaders

Acting head of UN Palestinian refugee agency says US, Israel working against it

The interim head of the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees accused the United States on Thursday of lobbying foreign parliaments to stop donations to the organisation, to which Washington cut off funding in 2018, Reuters reports. Christian Saunders, in an interview with Reuters in his Gaza office, also said Israel was seeking to replace United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services for Palestinians, mandated by the UN General Assembly, in occupied East Jerusalem with those of its own. UNRWA has faced budgetary difficulties since 2018, when the United States, its biggest donor, halted its annual aid of $360 million. The United States and Israel have both accused UNRWA of mismanagement and anti-Israeli incitement. Last November, UNRWA commissioner-general Pierre Krahenbuhl […]

Russia ridiculed after using fake photo of Syria refugees 

Syrian activists have ridiculed the Russian embassy in Syria after it was exposed for using a fake photo of a ‘humanitarian crossing’ in which it claimed Syrians from Idlib were queuing up to move to areas held by the Syrian regime. In the Tweet published by the embassy on its Twitter page on Sunday, it claimed that a reconciliation centre set up by Russia and the Syrian regime helped Syrians return to regime-held areas: 🇷🇺RUS Reconcilliation Center gets appeals from Syrians under illegal armed formations in #Idlib to help them return home in Gov't controlled areas. To arrange it crossing points to open JAN13 in Habit, Abu Duhur, alHadir. Information is being distributed ➡️ — Russian Embassy, Syria (@RusEmbSyria) […]

Pentagon contradicts Trump’s $1bn Saudi payment for troops

US President Donald Trump in Florida, US on 3 January 2019 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]
For the second time in under a week the US Pentagon has contradicted President Donald Trump, this time for his boastful claim that he manged to get $1 billion from the Saudis for increasing the number of American troops in the Middle East. Speaking of the deal in an interview with Fox News, Trump recounted his conversation with the Saudis: “I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.” However, the pentagon has dismissed the claim saying that discussions about how Saudi Arabia can help pay for the cost of the US military […]

South Dakota governor signs anti-BDS executive order

BDS protesters [Twitter]
The Republican governor of South Dakota signed an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting state offices from conducting business with companies boycotting Israel. The recent move made by Republican, Kristi Noem, has made South Dakota the 28th state to have adopted the anti-BDS law. “Israel is one of our nation’s closest allies, and their success is critical to American national security,” Noem announced in a statement. “Today, we reaffirm that South Dakota stands with Israel and will only contract with businesses who agree to fairly compete. Our state will not stand for any discrimination based on race or religion.” The executive order requires vendors seeking contracts with state agencies, authorities, commissions, departments or institutions of the State of South Dakota not […]

US considers cutting military aid to Iraq, if troops expelled

Image of US Military helicopters and troops in on 19 October, 2016 [File photo]
The US is considering cutting off military aid to Iraq if the government of Baghdad decides to expel US troops from the country, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Wednesday. The WSJ revealed that it had reviewed emails between the State Department and the Department of Defence, in which they discussed cuts of $250 million in military aid to Iraq, in funds approved by Congress, in addition to other military and economic aid cuts. According to the WSJ, the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs plans to ask the White House Office of Management and Budget whether it can eliminate the $100 million request for the fiscal year of 2021, “due to current optics on the ground.” In […]
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